Cirque de Soleil somersaults into Russia


by Reuters

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Cirque de Soleil comes to Russia.
The Canadian based company is trying to expand its presence in the circus capital of the world.
The group has revamped its 1992 "Saltimbanco" show to play in arenas, instead of inside a big-top tent that houses many of its traveling shows.
Artistic director Neelanthi Vadival says the audience will be able to see some Russian influence.
SOUNDBITE: Neelanthi Vadival, "Saltimbanco" artistic director, saying (English):
"We try to emulate the very high standards. Obviously the Russian circus is known around the world, and many of the elements or the techniques that are used and that have been used traditionally in Russian circus obviously have carried over to other circuses around the world. We have taken on obviously many of those traditions and high standards."
But, Russian native and Cirque veteran Ruslan Khakimulin says the company's performances are unlike traditional Russian circuses.
SOUNDBITE: Ruslan Khakimulin, "Saltimbanco" cast member, saying (Russian):
"Moscow Circus, is like, I don't know how to explain it...But, Cirque du Soleil is more like theater, theatrical style, 'show'. The Moscow Circus differs from it a little bit. It has its own style, we have ours, if you want to say it like that. It's a different thing."
And some of those differences include performers on the "Russian Swing" bounce and "Chinese Poles".
"Saltimbanco" has played in more than 200 cities - to more than 12 million people, worldwide.
Alicia Powell, Reuters.